“Come in!” she called out and smiled when he popped his head into the room.
“I just came to see my beautiful daughter before she is a married woman.” He smiled at Theresa, who was helping Whitney add the finishing touches to her makeup.
“I’ll give you a moment,” she said and left the room.
“So,” he started, after Theresa left, “are you ready?”
She looked up at him and nodded. “I’m sorry, Julian.” She lowered her eyes sadly.
He placed his hands on her shoulders. “For what, my dear?”
“You are my father, and I know that you would like to be the man to walk me down the aisle… I hope you understand.” Her eyes began to moisten with tears.
He smiled tenderly and lifted her chin. “Don’t worry, my beautiful daughter. I know you love TC too. He is your father; he was there for you, and he deserves this place at your side. I am grateful to him for raising you so well.” He swallowed the lump in his throat in an effort to hide his true feelings. “Nothing would give me greater pleasure than to walk you down the aisle, but I understand. I really do.” He wiped a stray tear from cheek.
Whitney hugged him. “I love you, Julian. Of all the men Mom could have loved, I am so happy it is you. I feel so blessed to be your daughter.”
Julian inhaled sharply to control his emotions as he hugged her tight. “I love you too. I want nothing more than for you to be happy. So you go and marry that young man, and I pray you will have a happy life.”
Whitney smiled. “Thank you so much.”
The door opened, and TC poked his head in. “Ready, sweet…?” He stopped short at the sight of Julian.
“TC.” Julian nodded.
Clearing his throat, TC turned is attention to Whitney. “Everyone is waiting. Are you ready?”
Whitney looked at Julian, her heart heavy for him. “Yes, I am.”
Theresa pushed the door open wider and entered, followed by Simone.
“Simone!” Whitney exclaimed, her heart pounding at the sight of her sister. “I’m so glad you decided to come.”
“Well,” Theresa began, “I made her come up here, before the wedding gets going.”
“Theresa!” Whitney started.
“I know it’s none of my business, but I really think you two should talk.”
Simone shifted around uncomfortably.
“I agree,” Julian said. “Why don’t we give them a few minutes?” he suggested.
“Good idea,” Theresa said and left the room.
Julian followed, after nodding encouragingly to Whitney.
TC stood stubbornly, unwilling to agree with anything Julian said, but then thought better of it and nodded. “I’ll be right outside,” he said to Whitney. Turning to Simone, he reached for her hand. “Give your sister a chance; I hate to see you two not getting along.”
Simone nodded. “I’ll try, Daddy.”
Simone stood and stared nervously at the closed door, afraid to speak.
Whitney took the initiative and spoke to break the ice. “I’ve missed you; I’ve missed my sister.”
“Half sister.” Simone turned to face her.
“Does it matter?” Whitney cocked her head and looked at her carefully.
Simone shrugged. “I guess not.”
Whitney approached her. “I am so sorry I hurt you, Simone. I know that you believe that I stole Chad from you, but I didn’t, honestly.”
“I know that now.” Simone smiled lightly. “Daddy got me to see the truth. I think I have known it all along. I just didn’t want to admit it.”
“So we can get past this then, and be sisters again?” Whitney said cautiously, afraid to hope for too much.
Simone studied her for awhile. Then, a slow smile crept onto her face. “I would like that.”
Whitney began to cry.
Simone stepped closer and hugged her, tears streaming down her cheeks.
“Eve…” Julian pulled her into the massive curtain where he had been standing for the past ten minutes, waiting for her to walk past.
“Julian!” she cried in surprise, as the darkness surrounded them. “What are you doing?” She tried to adjust to the lack of light.
His lips settled on hers, smothering anymore words or protests that might be uttered. Softly and slowly, he tasted her delicious mouth, while pressing her body closer, as he expertly manipulated her into submission.
Eve’s heart raced as his mouth moved over hers…overwhelming her, invading her…leaving her weak and breathless. Pulling back, she leaned against him for support, her face pressed into the crook of his neck. “Julian, what are you doing?” she whispered.
He smiled, now able to see her silhouette as his eyes adjusted to the darkness. “Stealing a little time with my wife.”
“There are people everywhere,” Eve protested as he continued to nuzzle her neck.
“Don’t worry, my love. This curtain is large enough to cover a house. No one can see us.” He kissed her again.
“But it’s so dark…” she protested.
“I don’t need light. I have you memorized, every curve, every…”
“Shhhh…people will hear you.” Eve placed her hand over his mouth.
His lips caressed it. “Maybe we can escape to our room then?” he suggested hopefully, as he moved to kiss her ear and throat.
Panting, Eve pushed him back. “Stop it, Julian, behave.”
“Never!” he declared, claiming her lips once more.
“Where is Evan?” Eve asked, sliding her mouth off of his.
“With Sheridan.” He grabbed her face in his hands and held her fast. “Would you be quiet and kiss me?” he said with a grin, firmly planting his lips on hers once more.
Eve moaned as her tongue slid against his…smooth, like silk, so soft and wet, hungrily dancing and seducing hers. Pulling up for air briefly, she moved toward him once again, her lips seeking his.
His lips, warm and masculine, overwhelmed hers…tasting her, loving her, and wanting more…desperately wanting more. He pulled back, his breathing ragged and heavy.
Eve leaned her head against his chest to catch her breath, brushing her hand against his tuxedo. Finally, after a few breathless moments, she said, “We had better get out of this curtain. Lord knows if anyone is watching.”
He chuckled softly. “Who cares about that? I could make love to you right here, right now.” He breathed deeply in an effort to control his desire.
Eve smoothed her gown. “I have no doubts about that.” She chuckled, trying to find her way out of the curtain.
He kissed her swiftly once more. “Here.” He guided her out, peering first to see if anyone was looking.
Priscilla Jones walked by the curtain on her way to her seat when Julian stuck his head out to see if the coast was clear. “Julian!” she exclaimed in startled surprise. “What are you doing?”
Pushing Eve further back into the curtain to avoid trouble, he smiled. “Ah, nothing…just waiting for the bride. She will be along any moment now. You’d better get to your seat,” he urged, hoping she would leave.
“Hmmm…want me to wait with you? We can catch up on old times,” she purred, grabbing his tux jacket and pulling him close to her.
Eve took hold of the back of Julian’s jacket, pulling him back into the curtain.
Not aware of Eve, Priscilla thought he was taking her up on her offer as she moved with him towards the curtain. “Oh, I knew it! You are the same old Julian. I knew that tramp you married wouldn’t keep you satisfied for long…”
A punch in the nose sent Priscilla reeling back in pain.
“Keep your paws off my man!” Eve stepped out of the curtain. “Have you no decency?” she stormed furiously.
“Ladies…” Julian interrupted, trying to keep a war from breaking out.
“You stay out of this!” Priscilla snapped angrily, dabbing a tissue at the trickle of blood in her nose, while taking a swing at Eve.
Eve pulled back, causing Priscilla’s fist to miss, barely.
Julian grabbed Eve around the waist and forced her to stand behind him. “Enough of this!” he hissed, trying to avoid a scene, and grateful for the curtain dividing them from the ballroom. Then, to his dismay, TC and Whitney appeared.
“What’s going on here?” TC demanded, eyeing Julian suspiciously.
“Nothing, nothing…” Julian laughed nervously. “Just a minor disagreement.”
“Disagreement about what?” TC asked, suspicious as ever.
Priscilla turned to TC and hooked her arm in his.
“Was this jerk bothering you?” TC asked her.
“No, schnookums, it’s her!” She pointed at Eve. “She punched me in the nose.”
“Eve?” TC asked in dismay, looking at his ex-wife. “How could you?”
“She is a man-stealing hussy, that’s how.” Priscilla’s eyes flashed hotly.
“Stop saying that!” Julian started to get extremely irritated with her claims that Eve stole him from her.
“What the hell is going on?” TC asked, clearly getting upset.
Eve stepped up, wanting to avoid any further confrontation. “Can’t we just drop this and get on with the wedding? The guests are all ready and waiting.”
“Yes,” Whitney piped in, “Mom is right.”
Priscilla whirled to face Whitney. “Mom?? She is your mother?”
“Yes, and TC is my father…well not biologically,” Whitney explained.
Eve wiped her brow as a headache started to brew.
“You were involved with her???” Priscilla’s voice rose to a screech as she questioned TC.
“Yes, we were married for twenty years…till Julian seduced her away from me.”
Priscilla’s eyes flashed. “Oh, I doubt it was Julian’s fault. It was her. I am sure of it.” She pointed an accusing finger at Eve. “She stole Julian from me years ago, and now, she has gotten her hooks into him again!!”
TC fainted dead away!